Nexstar, Sinclair, Tribune, Tegna launch TV Interface Practices (TIP), a standards-based project to bring streamlined business interfaces to local TV. They are inviting broadcasters, advertisers and others to join to improve competitiveness with other media.
A consortium of local television broadcasters including Nexstar Media, Sinclair Broadcast, Tegna and Tribune Media, today launched the TV Interface Practices or TIP Initiative, an industry work group “dedicated to developing standard-based interfaces to accelerate electronic advertising transactions for local TV broadcasters and their media agency partners.”
The local TV industry has struggled with the manual nature of the advertising buying and selling process for many years. While various solutions providers have sought to streamline the process to support the industry’s long-term competitiveness, progress has been slow due to a lack of universal modern standards-based interfaces.
In early 2017, broadcast executives from Nexstar, Sinclair and Tribune came together to accelerate, coordinate, standardize and make open the technical framework necessary to streamline the local TV transaction process. Tegna joined the consortium earlier this month.
With Tegna’s participation, the consortium now represents the four largest station affiliate groups in the US.
This consortium of broadcasters said it believes in these guiding principles:
- Local television is the most powerful brand-building medium, connecting marketers with consumers and advertisers, brands and broadcasters will benefit from the best automation.
- While demand is high for local television ad inventory, transactional friction has created challenges for buyers.
- System-to-system electronic processes can streamline the buying of local spot media; however, creating interoperability takes coordination across multiple broadcast companies.
- Standards-based interfaces are the best way of encouraging the needed system-to-system interchange of transactional information.
- Standard API interfaces set the stage for advanced local TV and ATSC 3.0 and will greatly enhance the efficiency of buying local media by U.S. advertising agencies.
The consortium contacted more than a dozen systems providers involved in various aspects of local TV transactions to review existing electronic methods and specifications that support local spot buying. From this research, a set of API’s are proposed to support the electronic transfer of “buy” transactional data.
TVB, the trade association representing local broadcast television will provide a repository for the TIP Initiative’s work and open access for industry partners. The consortium’s technical whitepaper, Interface Automation Guidelines for Local TV Transactions, is a consolidated description of potential best practices describing the local TV transaction workflow and recommended API framework. The whitepaper and details of the TIP Initiative are available here.
“The goal of the TIP initiative is to accelerate local TV interoperability by creating a coalition of system providers to work with buyers and sellers to develop and implement streamlined transaction workflows using standards-based open APIs,” said Perry Sook, chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar Media Group, who also serves as the chairman of TVB.
“Local broadcast television remains unrivalled among all media as its reach, engagement and influence consistently delivers proven revenue-generating marketing solutions to advertisers and brands. To sustain local television’s advantages across all screens and devices, we must work together as an industry to create a more efficient marketplace for advertisers to access local TV inventory in a manner that is cost effective for the buyer, while maintaining the integrity of our product.
“By encouraging broadcasters, advertisers and others to join the TIP Initiative and participate in this important, ongoing collaborative effort we will improve our competitiveness with other media and deliver more brand safe solutions to advertisers and brands.”
Chris Ripley, president-CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, said the initiative “demonstrates the industry’s shared commitment to working together with technology providers and advertising partners to develop open standards-based solutions for efficient automated buying and selling of broadcast TV spot inventory.
“In addition, advertising and programming content monetization options will expand with Next-Gen TV, giving broadcasters the ability to deliver targeted campaigns to advertisers that reach local audiences at scale. For our industry to quickly and effectively optimize this opportunity, while ensuring transparency, it is important for us to collaborate on this effort ahead of the adoption of ATSC 3.0.”
Dave Lougee, president-CEO of Tegna, said it is imperative that broadcasters “develop new ways to allow advertisers to connect with their targeted audiences more effectively. Automation removes the costs and complexity from the local broadcast TV ad buying and selling process, giving local stations and advertisers the opportunity to more efficiently allocate their respective resources.
“The TIP Initiative will serve as a foundation for marketplace fairness and the implementation of standards-based open APIs.”